Family Travel: Banff Lake Cruise on Lake Minnewanka

 

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Just a short drive across the highway from the town of Banff is Lake Minnewanka. I had been there many times before, since it’s such a scenic drive with gorgeous views. Yet, never have we stopped at the lake and took a good look around. On our last family trip to the Canadian Rockies, we changed that.

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Walk to the dock and you can get tickets to take the 1 hour Banff Lake Cruise, a sightseeing tour experience on one of two 43 passenger Lake Cruisers or the 65 passenger Alberta Explorer {operating several times daily from mid-May to mid-October}. 

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The ride is smooth, and the views are breathtaking. All the while your tour guide tells the history of the area, our actually was born and raised in the town of Banff so he was very knowledgeable with a great sense of humour. 

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 The mountain beasts paired with the serene trip along the water is a perfect match. This alone is a true Canadian experience. Yet, it’s also getting the knowledge of the area that raises this tour up a notch.

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While we had driven this path many times before, I had no clue on the geology and history of this lake and the surrounding areas. For instance, there’s a town under Lake Minnewanka, one which stood long ago when the lake was smaller. Experience cold-water divers can go down and explore this forgotten town.

Native folklore is strong in this area, which is known for it’s intense energy and spirit. Do you see the face with eyes? We were told that when it rains, water falling off the mountain from the crevasses that form the eyes, make it look like this person is crying.

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The Banff Lake Cruise on Lake Minnewanka is a peaceful, educational and a very serene tour, one which our whole family enjoyed. We sat at the rear of the boat where you can still hear the operator clearly, yet it’s a little more secluded and relaxing {tip from us to you!}. The girls laid back and soaked in fresh mountain air and a nice warm sun as we sped along the water.

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Hubby and I were focused on learning about the area, and cherishing this time with the family. The tour operator provided breaks in his speech so that you could sit back and take it all in, which we did. From gazing from mountain to mountain to watching the girls stare over the side of the boat with huge smiles, it was a fantastic tour. 

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While I’m sure a drive to Lake Minnewanka will be done again as it has many times before, now I’ll do it with more insight. With each future visit I’ll remember the boat cruise and reflect on the history of this beautiful area. While I’d urge any traveler to visit the beautiful Lake Minnewanka area, I also would suggest taking this boat tour, to learn about the beauty you are looking at. It’s the difference between travel and truly taking in the experience.  

More things to do at Lake Minnewanka:

  • Banff Boat Rentals: You can also rent a boat in Banff if you’re looking to explore Lake Minnewanka on your own. 16 foot aluminum motorboats, complete with all the necessary safety equipment, are available by the hour, half or full day.
  • Snack Bar: Serving up delicious light meals and snacks for visitors to Lake Minnewanka.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Lake Minnewanka is home to a large population of rocky mountain wildlife, including bald eagles, ospreys, elk, mountain sheep and deer. This is nature’s wild playground, so a camera is a must. Click here to see photos of wildlife in the Canadian Rockies from other visitors. 
  • Hiking, Biking & Picnic Area: Lake Minnewanka is one of the most popular recreational areas in Banff National Park. Adventure onto the trails leading around the lake or sit back and relax in one of the several sheltered picnic spots.

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** For pricing and more information on the Banff Lake Cruise, please visit the Explore Rockies website. It’s THE site for all the great attractions and activities for this tour and for other family-friendly things to do in Banff National Park. 

 

My family received complimentary tour passes to facilitate this travel article. All opinions are 100% our own.

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Comments

  1. That looks absolutely gorgeous! I want to go there now!

  2. I love river/lake cruises. Between the scenery and the water experience it’s total relaxation! The view was magnificent!!! Thank you for sharing!

  3. That does look like fun and the scenery is gorgeous!

  4. Wow this looks amazing! You don’t really think of the Rockies as being a scuba area, so that is neat that there is town for divers to explore.

  5. Oy.. your photos are always SO beautiful!

  6. Judy C (Cowan) says:

    Love boat cruises, I will have to remember this if we make it out there for a visit. Great pictures!

  7. I look at your photos and I can see why Banff was one of my mother’s favorite spots in the world.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Gondola up Sulphur Mountain, the Columbia Icefield Adventure tour, and a Boat Cruise on Lake Minnewanka - yet it was the town of Banff that we called ‘home’ for our stay. Love my […]

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